The Indian Super League got off to a rollicking start (depending on your point of view, of course) with a "grand" Opening Ceremony, and the question foremost in the minds of the people desperate to watch action on the field was – will the quality of play be as good as promised?
Well, the standard of play, to be fair, was not the greatest, but then, on the brighter side, there were plenty of quality players on display and three quite outstanding goals.
The end result of a could-have-been-better-but-at-least-it-is-a-start opening encounter of the ISL was a handsome 3-0 victory for Atletico de Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly and La Liga champions Atletico Madrid's team, over Ranbir Kapoor's Mumbai City FC.
Fikru Teferra scored the momentous first goal in ISL history to give Atletico de Kolkata a 1-0 lead in the first half, before the highly-rated Borja Fernandez fired a magical strike to ensure all three points for the home team at the Salt Lake Stadium. Arnal Llibert then added the gloss to the scoreline with a goal in stoppage time.
The victory was more than deserved for Atletico de Kolkata, who were easily the better team, showing a lot more intent going forward from minute one, and finding reward via two fabulous goals.
Mumbai City FC could not find any rhythm in their play, with Peter Reid's men clearly missing the services of the injured Freddie Ljungberg and suspended Nicolas Anelka.
Atletico de Kolkata took full advantage of the fact that Mumbai City FC had very little to show going forward, with Baljit Sahni, who was bright in the attacking third for the home team, coming close early on.
The Kolkata team's marquee player Luis Garcia, however, did not have as much of an impact, playing behind the striker in the No.10 role, as he would have liked, even if he came close to breaking the deadlock with a nice little volley off a throw-in.
Atletico de Kolkata looked like being the only team likely to score in this opening ISL game, and so it proved to be as their big man Fikru sprung clear of the Mumbai City FC defence, who just did not have enough nous or understanding, despite having the likes of Manuel Friedrich in their lineup, to calmly slot the ball over Subrata Paul.
That first goal three minutes before the half hour mark gave Atletico de Kolkata the goal they had been craving for, and from there, really, there only looked like being one winner.
Atletico de Kolkata were just too strong and a lot better drilled than the Mumbai City FC side, and Borja's 25-metre thunderbolt in the 69th minute only emphasised that fact, with Arnal just twisting that knife into the sway side a little bit more late on, courtesy a tap-in off a peach of a cross from Fikru.
It is the perfect start for one of the favourites in this ISL, while Mumbai City FC will have to go back to the drawing board, especially in their defence, while also hoping for a quick return to the lineup for the likes of Ljungberg and Anelka.